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News Releases : OPPD continues to receive high customer satisfaction scores
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Omaha Public Power District strives for a high level of customer satisfaction, which is measured through nationally syndicated studies. The OPPD board monitors the utility’s efforts through Board Policy: Strategic Directive-5.

They accepted the SD-5 monitoring report at today’s monthly meeting, finding the district to be sufficiently in compliance with the policy. Directors evaluate all board policies annually.             

The district’s goal is to achieve top-quartile customer satisfaction performance for similar-sized utilities in the region. OPPD has continued to meet that goal, most recently finishing near the top in the Midwest Midsize category of JD Power’s residential survey. The utility is also participating in a syndicated annual survey of commercial customer satisfaction. Results are due at the end of the year.

In addition to measuring customer satisfaction, SD-5 also holds OPPD accountable to regularly obtaining feedback from customer-owners, interacting with them in a respectful, dignified manner, and providing ways for them to express comments or concerns.

Thursday, the board also accepted monitoring reports for Board Policy: Strategic Directives 7 and 8. These are related to environmental stewardship and employee relations, respectively.

Executive appointment

At Thursday’s meeting, the board also discussed and approved the appointment of Troy Via to replace Mo Doghman as vice president - Energy Delivery, who announced his retirement in July after nearly 30 years with OPPD.

President Tim Burke had recommended Via for the position during Tuesday’s board committee meetings.

Via has been working in the utility industry for the past 20 years. He held positions with Dominion Resources in Richmond, Va., and Aquila Energy in Kansas City, Mo., prior to joining OPPD in 2013 as director – Energy Marketing & Trading. During his five-year tenure in that role, Via led OPPD’s integration into the Southwest Power Pool, as well as the integrated marketplace. Most recently, Via served as director of Transmission and Distribution Centers. 

Via will be paid a salary of $283,815.

The transition of duties between Doghman and Via will take place over the next few months. Doghman has agreed to stay on with OPPD, as needed, to ensure a smooth transition.

"We greatly appreciate Mo Doghman’s leadership and thoughtful guidance over the past 30 years,” Burke said. “His commitment to employees and customers has been remarkable.”

Decommissioning update

During its committee meetings this week, the board received an update on decommissioning efforts at Fort Calhoun Station (FCS).  

About 10 percent of the plant’s spent fuel dry cask project has been completed. The fuel currently stored in the spent fuel pool is scheduled to be completely transferred into dry cask storage by mid-2020. The FCS team is focused on performing the work necessary to enter the SAFSTOR dormancy period by the end of 2020. 

“We have asked the women and men at FCS to change how they conduct business at this facility,” said Mary Fisher, vice president - Energy Production & Nuclear Decommissioning. “It has been tremendously rewarding to see them work their way through a tough situation and come out on the other side, engaged and with so much positivity. I am very proud of our team.”

Burke noted, “Work has progressed on-time – safely, efficiently, and under budget.

“That’s a testament to our talented and dedicated employees at FCS, as well as those in supporting roles across the company. Their professionalism and work ethic are to be commended.”          

Other board action

In other action, directors:

  • Approved the June 2018 Comprehensive Financial and Operating Reports, the July 12, 2018 board meeting minutes, and the August 16, 2018 board agenda.
  • Authorized OPPD management to negotiate and enter into a contract for the inspection, repair and replacement of the turbine generator components at Nebraska City Station Unit 1. This maintenance work is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2019.
  • Awarded a contract to Watts Electric Company in the amount of $1,397,469 for construction services to add or replace fiber optic ground wire to existing transmission lines across OPPD’s service territory. This is part of the Fiber Network Expansion project, designed to upgrade communications circuits currently leased from local telecommunications providers. Those providers plan to discontinue support of these aging facilities. Upgrades are scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.
  • Reviewed and approved restatements of OPPD’s 401(k)/457 retirement savings plans, executive life insurance plan, OPPD’s Retirees’ Medical Coverage Premium Plan for employees hired after Dec. 31, 2007, and OPPD’s retirement plan. These plans were restated to ensure they reflect changes made through negotiation of labor agreements, the addition of a Roth investment option for retirement savings, current practices and applicable law, and correction of any administrative errors.
  • Approved resolution 6253 to correct an administrative error in the effective date for officer compensation.
  • Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view that report after it is posted by visiting oppd.com/boardmeeting.

Next meetings

Next month’s board committee meetings will start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11. The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place at OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha. The meetings also are livestreamed at oppd.com.